Bri­ton ar­rested over cafe car­nage

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BANGLADESHI po­lice have for­mally ar­rested a Bri­tish na­tional al­legedly in­volved in the deadly Is­lamist at­tack on a cafe in Dhaka that killed 22 peo­ple last month.

Has­nat Karim, a 47-year-old Bri­ton, had ini­tially been de­tained along with Tah­mid Khan, 22, a University of Toronto stu­dent, as a sus­pect in the at­tack, which was claimed by the Is­lamic State group.

A court on Au­gust 13 or­dered Mr Karim to be re­manded in cus­tody for eight more days af­ter po­lice said he was the “first per­son” to be for­mally ar­rested over the at­tack.

Mr Karim and Mr Khan were both in­side the Ho­ley Ar­ti­san Bak­ery when gun­men raided the cafe on the night of July 1, tak­ing a group of mainly Western din­ers hostage and then killing 20 of them, along with two po­lice­men.

Po­lice had sought to hold Mr Karim for 10 more days, say­ing the fa­ther of two should be ques­tioned fur­ther as he was now the “first per­son to have been ar­rested in the case”.

“We have found some in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing his in­volve­ment in that in­ci­dent,” Dhaka Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice spokesper­son Ma­sudur Rah­man said.

Mr Karim and Mr Khan were last week ar­rested un­der a law which al­lows the po­lice to de­tain some­one on sus­pi­cion of any crime but they were not di­rectly linked to the at­tack.

Mr Karim’s lawyer main­tained he was in­no­cent. “We’ve said that he was a vic­tim of cir­cum­stances. He was used as a body shield and forced to walk with the at­tack­ers at gun­point,” Go­lam Mostafa said.

Nei­ther Mr Karim nor Mr Khan have been seen in pub­lic since the end of the siege when com­man­dos stormed the cafe on July 2.

The men’s fam­i­lies have said they were be­ing held by se­cu­rity forces even though there was no ev­i­dence to link them to the at­tack­ers.

Mr Karim’s fa­ther Rezaul Karim last week said his son had helped save lives dur­ing the siege.

“My son was a hero. He saved the life of at least eight peo­ple dur­ing the siege. I know him. He is in­no­cent.”

Rel­a­tives say Mr Karim, his wife and two chil­dren were at the cafe to cel­e­brate the 13th birth­day of their daugh­ter.

Mr Karim was a lec­turer at North­South University in Dhaka, where two of the five at­tack­ers who were gunned down at the end of the siege had stud­ied. –

Photo: AFP

Has­nat Karim’s fam­ily deny he was in­volved in a cafe at­tack.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.